In his second gift in just over a month, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore is to donate $261m over 10 years to an environmental protection group.
Conservation International, a non-profit organisation based in Washington DC, said the series of grants is the largest gift ever given to a private environmental group.
Donated by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the funds will be used to help researchers identify and protect world hotspots: areas that cover 1.4 per cent of the Earth, but are home to over 60 per cent of its terrestrial species.
Many of the hotspots have lost more than 90 per cent of their original habitat, the group said.
"The rate of species loss and habitat destruction demands immediate action," Moore said in a statement. "Collaboration is critical and we expect Conservation International to continue to build strong alliances and maintain its commitment to solid science and innovative thinking."
In addition, the funds will establish national parks across millions of acres of rain forests in South America, Africa and Asia. The money will also be used to build scientific field stations in countries like Madagascar, Mexico, China and the Caribbean.
"This incredible commitment from the Moore Foundation enables us to come to grips with biodiversity issues in some of the richest, most diverse and most endangered corners of our planet," said Conservation International's president, Russell Mittermeier.
Moore, who serves as chairman of Conservation International's board of executives, and his wife contributed $35m to set up the Conservation International's Centre for Applied Biodiversity Science in 1998.
In late October, the Foundation announced a 10-year, $600m donation to the California Institute of Technology, the largest charitable donation to a university in US history.
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